You know my youngest was a pain in the butt stubborn and always talked back a lot. I told my wife, you know some day that will serve him well. Just not as a 13 year old. LOL It did but he had to get to 19, go to college and find a wife who took him off our hands. Now he seems absolutely delightful. It is the same thing my mom said about me.
Actually having a mind of their own serves them well as teenagers as well as adults and maybe even better as teenagers.
Well since you mentioned civil engineering, have him look at Trine in Northwest IN, of course Purdue (man I cant believe I just wrote that) and Michigan State. If he likes cities, IUPUI in Indianapolis has a civil program, they also have the IU medical school on campus. All of these great Civil Engineering schools. If Rose Hulman has a civil program it would be awesome as well. Oh and in case you are wondering it is never to early to start looking. If he gets excited about a place his HS grades will go up and he will have less change of letting trouble finding him.
My son choose Kettering because they had great mashed potatoes on the day we visited. Then he spent five years complaining about the food. Sounds like his dad. Let me know if I can ever help Jacob out with letters of recommendations etc. Sometimes people with Doctor Credentials and who live away from the student can get their letters noticed a bit more than others. I have always been generous with these letters and would love to help Jacob out if he ever needs it.